Are play dates the new friendship / online dating?!

This morning was one of the best play dates I have had in my 4 years of being a mom. My littlest love and I met an old friend and her twins at a city park this morning. We had not seen each other, in person, in what seemed like a decade but we keep up with each other online. I had zero anxiety about meeting her and no worries if the kids would get along. We picked up right where we left off, as awesome girlfriends! Our conversation was easy, funny, kind and smooth, considering we were running after 3 kids under 2! This is what it is all about! NO judgement! I walked away feeling so happy and looking forward to our next date.


As a mom sometimes play dates can feel like dating. Like dates, they can go great, ok, awkward and even terrible. I haven’t dated in a decade but I hear its brutal and from Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance this new digital world has made it a big ole mess.

“no matter how many options we seem to have on our screens, we should be careful not to lose track of the human beings behind them. We’re better off spending quality time getting to know actual people than spending hours with our devices, seeing who else is out there.”
― Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance

NOT all playdates are created equal. Some are casual & easy and others take effort & work. Plus the introduction to social media screws everything up. We think we know what is going on in people’s lives but do we really? Do we have a false sense of friendship security because of our online connections? Don’t get me wrong I love being able to keep in touch with my friends and family but have we replaced personal face to face time with FakeTime? Should love & friendships be work?

(Sorry I am having a Carrie Bradshaw moment, except I am in sweatpants and Uggs, drinking a Dr. Pepper and its 11:30am in Oklahoma instead of smoking a cigarrette drinking a cosmo in my designer outfit at midnight in NYC) Anyway I digress…

Karin Sieger, psychotherapist and HuffPost UK blogger, says true friendships “are based on unconditional concern for the other. We do things for the other out of friendship not in order to gain anything. Friendships can provide grounding, safety, comfort, the experience of trust and respect, of being understood and valued.”

“21st century friendships are soul friendships. They are about supporting each other to live a life that is full of purpose, courage and creativity.”

“However there are challenges – in this digital world of ours, it’s harder to maintain or make meaningful relationships. We are more independent than ever, and the only predators we really need help with are rubbish dates.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/02/10/history-of-friendship-evolution_n_4743572.html

Just like dating. Maybe you think it went great but the other mom is like WHOA! Never again! She’s a psycho! Or the other way around. That did NOT go as planned. And maybe the kids did not get along so it does not make sense to force a friendship. And sometimes we are all just too busy to make time. So are play dates like online dating? Will there be a match? One of the best ways to explain the awkwardness:

You make time when you want to see someone. I have see this shirt several times and I always laugh. “Sorry I’m late I didnt want to come.” I found this on Etsy. It is super cute I am actually thinking of getting one. Sorry I’m Late Etsy Shop

il_570xN.816685760_93noHave you ever felt this way? Hopefully most of you are humans and at one point were like ya I dont wanna do that family, work, friends, spouse event, you name it, sometimes we just dont. We are all being pulled in so many directions that is hard to be everywhere all the time.

The effortless last minute play dates are always the best for us. Yesterday and today we went to local city parks and met up with some of my dearest childhood friends and their littles. All our kids are different ages and they all got along so well.

I met another lifelong friend for breakfast a couple weeks ago, again so fun, easy, nice conversation and left feeling so glad that we finally met up even tho it was for 45 minutes.

The evolution of friendship is one of the most complex things for me to understand. My MeMaw always says its quality not quantity and if you have 5 real friends in your lifetime then you are rich.

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I have always been a social butterfly even since I was little. I am lucky to say I have a lot of friends. I genuinely care about people. I think sometimes I am the delusional crazy ex girlfriend who cant understand why she was dumped. Friendships come and go it is a part of life but I have a tough time letting things go. Some people prolly have no idea what I am talking about and thats cool. I just want to know how to handle my kids getting left out, not getting invited or losing a friend.

Why do we feel the need to be friends with everyone? Is it a southern thing? Did we take the “it’s not what you know but who you know” thing a little too seriously? It is all about connections and networking blah blah. But does that S#@% even really matter? If you have 1,000 facebook friends but do NOT have someone you can 1,000% depend on then what do you have? I ask these questions because after starting my blog I find myself at an impass. How do I teach my boys how to be a good friend in this ever evolving and changing digital world? Do those people really care about me or will I ever see them again?

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I am reconnecting with my friends more and more. It is reassuring to know that we are still the same little girls who used to have sleep overs except now we have real life baby dolls. I think it is because we have spent real time together.  We did NOT have the internet, social media, weird pressures and we were able to be kids. I would be lost without my college, career and other mom friends. They are always there for me and we lean and depend on each other like sisters.

To have friends you have to be a friend. And today that means we must share ourselves, our time and shed the profile picture and get back to the heart of the matter, loving each other. With our ever changing, fast paced, digital world, I pray my boys find the human connections with friends that I have been lucky enough to keep.

“Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.”

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

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XOXO
Just Happy Mommy

Credits to GIF ap for iPhone, Pinterest, Etsy, Aziz Ansari and Huffington Post